« السابقةمتابعة »
and gave it authority. It is evident, therefore, that it is not competent to any single State to annul the solemn act of the whole “people of the United States.” It is also to be observed that, in the Constitution itself, the federal power is called .- the Government,” which conveys a very different idea from that of a league or treaty, which might be dissolved by any of the parties thereto. As Mr. Morris well observed, in one of the debates in the convention, “A government by compact is no government at all."*
Having concluded its labors, the convention adopted the following resolution:
' Resolved, That the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States, in Congress assembled, and that it is the opinion of this convention that it should afterwards be subinitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification; and that each convention, assenting to and ratifying the same, shall give notice thereof to the United States, in Congress assembled.'
The Constitution was signed by a quorum of the delegates of eleven states, and the only member from a twelfth. In transmitting it to Congress, George Washington, as President of the convention, accompanied it with an important letter, indicating the spirit and design of the instrument.
Thus, in due form, and by the most solemn proceedings of all legal authority, was the Constitution submitted to the whole people, and it evidently constitutes a government of the whole people, and is not the instrument of a mere league of States in their corporate capacity, as has been so strenuously contended by the organizers of the rebellion.
We cannot better conclude this article than the words of Washington, in his Farewell Address :
“This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and respect."
* Secret Proceedings and Debates, p. 220.
Art. X.-NOTICES AND CRITICISMS.
Exercises for Dictation and Pronunciation. By CHARLES NORTHEND,
A. M. 16ino, pp. 250. New York: A. S. Barnes & Burr. 1862.
None of our publishers manufacture more curious school books than Messrs. Barnes & Burr. Sometimes, indeed, we find their imprint on a good work, but very rarely. Generally their coinpilers set to work as if the art of teaching children to spell and read was one of the occult sciences of the ancients, but one never thoroughly understood until the present treatise was published. Nor does Mr. Northend form an exception to the rule. Like most of his brethren, he is evidently of opinion that he is capable of teaching others what he has but a very vague idea of himself. There is nothing in the present volume, so far as we can see, that a child six years old might not learn, in the usual way, without any cabalistic signs or mysterious rules, although it is intended, not for children just beginning to read, but for the most advanced grade of students. “In making this volume,” says Mr. Northend, “it has not been the aim of the author to furnish a substitute for the spelling-book, but, rather, to prepare an accompaniment to it for the use of the higher classes in our schools.”—p. 3.
There is not an original sentence in the whole work-not a single instructive or judicious remark which is not borrowed, or which is not to be found in a more attractive form in a dozen of “ spellers;" but the author takes occasion to point out the source of his inspiration, as follows: “For most of the reading and spelling exercises in the middle of the book, under the head of Miscellaneous Words,' the author would acknowledge his indebtedness to a work (mentioned at the bottom of the page), formerly published by A. S. Barnes & Co., and which he has been allowed to use freely.” (ib.) It must, of course, follow from this, that the work referred to is of great value, second only to the new production. After the author has duly accounted, in this modest way, for what he has taken from other savans, he informs the world that, “The various miscellaneous exercises in the book will, it is believed, readily commend themselves to teachers, and open a wide field for much general instruction in every-day matters, and thus make the work a desirable one as a basis of many useful object-lessons.". (p. 4.) Need we say that a child of ordinary intelligence, who has furnished
composition” at a country school half a dozen times, could hardly use more superfluous words in one sentence; yet it is not alone children, or
the higher classes in our schools, that Mr. Northend undertakes to instruct; he is equally ready to give lessons to their teachers, to whose enlightenment he has devoted eight pages, besides several notes scattered thronghout the work. Some idea may be formed of the value of the instructions given to the professors from a brief specimen or two. Lest any pedagogue might be so stupid as to allow his pupil even to correct a mistake, he is cautioned thus by Mr. Northend: “Allow the pupil to try once only on a word, as all beyond will be merely guessing.”—(p. 7.) “After a little practice in this method, scholars will be able to go through with quite long sentences,” &c.(ib.) " It will be well, often, to make all the members of a class feel responsible for the accurate spelling of each and every word.”—(p. 10.) Wise observations like these form the staple of the “Hints to Teachers.” “ It will sometimes be the case,” says Prof. Northend, “that scholars will prove themselves quite expert in spelling long or difficult words, and yet make sad mistakes in spelling words that are shorter and apparently much easier."—(p. 11.) How very remarkable! But our author furnishes a remedy at once-a veritable specific-one never known to fail in the worst cases. Again,” says our author, “it is frequently the case that scholars are exceedingly deficient in ability to spell the names of countries, states, counties, towns, mountains, rivers, individuals,” &c.—(ib.) As a matter of course, a remedy is provided, even against so strange a state of things-so that the like may never happen again, at least where Northend's Dictation is at hand. It is sometimes spoken of as a great wonder that, in the time of our grandfathers, the shepherd and the pedagogue, or the "school ma'am" and the henwife, were often one and the same person; but it seems to us that, if such were the case to-day, that neither the shepherd nor the henwife could give more silly “instructions” than we find in works of this kind. True, “Northend's Dictation" is intended for the West, and we see that several “out-west” editors have already inserted notices, pronouncing it superior to anything else of the kind that has yet appeared in that region. If the good people of the West are satisfied with such books, we have, perhaps, no reason to find fault; still, we confess we cannot help thinking that it is a shabby sort of business to persist in manufacturing a class of text-books the ignorance and foolishness of which could hardly be burlesqued.
The Manual of Agriculture for the School, the Farm, and the Fireside.
By GEORGE B. Emerson and CHARLES L. FLINT. 12mo, pp. 306.
We do not pretend to speak ex cathedra on the science of agriculture. If we possess any knowledge of farming, it is derived chiefly from the Georgics of Virgil, and founded on our faith in the orthodoxy of such
passages as that in which the poet speaks of those eternal laws imposed by nature on particular localities and soils—
" Continuò has leges æternaque fodera certis
Imposuit natura, locis," &c. But there is much more in the present volume than those who are most sanguine would expect in a treatise on agriculture. And were it of a different character, the Board of Agriculture of the State of Massachusetts would hardly have caused it to be prepared as a text-book for schools. In our opinion, no better work of its kind could have been recommended for that purpose. That it exhibits not a little variety, and is interesting as well as instructive, might be inferred from the titles of the chapters; such, for example, as the following: The Air and the Gases in it; the Atmosphere and the Forces acting on it; of Plants; the Soil; culture of the Cereals; Diseases and enemies of growing Plants, &c., &c. Thus, in studying the Manual, the pupil soon becomes interested in chemistry, geology, botany, &c., and is gradually impressed with the practical utility of each, so that, were he destined never to have a farm, or to take any part in farming, it would nevertheless amply repay the time and attention bestowed on it. It is written in a lucid, graphic style. The authors use as fow technicalities as possible; yet they do not sacrifice dignity of language to simplicity. The questions for examination on each chapter, given at the end, together with a copious alphabetical index, considerably enhance the value of the Manual.
Method of Classical Study; illustrated by Questions on a few Selections
from Latin and Greek authors. By SAMUEL H. TAYLOR, LL. D., Principal of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. 12mo, pp. 154. Boston: Brown & Taggard. 1862.
We have examined this little volume with a good deal of interest and attention, and we feel convinced that it is calculated to afford much aid both to student and teacher. We think, however, that if there were less questions and more notes, the work would be still better. There are many who are very clever in proposing questions, which they themselves might sometimes find it difficult to answer. More than once we have met those who could take up a passage in Horace, Lucretius, or Aristophanes, and talk very fluently about the different forms of every declinable word, and yet could not for the life of them give a decent rendering of the following sentence.
It needs no unusual acumen to know that it discourages children to give them the impression that every word, nay, every syllable, has to be analyzed in this way. Nor can we blame them if they think that at this rate it would occupy their whole life to learn Latin alone. The best Latinists we know-those capable of conversing fluently in the language
would be puzzled at half the questions proposed by Professor Taylor; and it may be doubted whether Cicero or Virgil could have answered the other half without wincing. The declensions of the learned languages are very good per se, as means of mental exercise; but a language must be learned before its grammar, just as much as the hare inust be caught before it is cooked.
If we take up the best edition of any classic author, in which the notes, &c., are in the same language with the text, it is not roots, derivations, or endings that are taken into account, but the most faithful rendering of any particular passage. The classic commentator would no more undertake to analyze every word in a passage of Virgil or Æschylus, than the English commentator would in a passage in Shakespeare. Should we not smile at the critic who, when he came to the noble soliloquy of Hamlet, would proceed to elucidate the same, by telling us that “To be or not to be," &c., has am in the first person singular, indicative mood, present tense; are in the plural, &c. &c. ?
If Professor Taylor is not familiarly acquainted with the Latin and other languages, it is evident that he has availed himself of the labors of those that are. At all events, his“ Method” is really very good; but, as already intimated, we think he could have made it much better, had he omitted about fifty per cent. of the questions, and filled their place, if not with answers, at least, with explanations. As it is, we would confidently recommend the book to advanced students, as the best of its kind we remember to have been published in this country.
Introductory French Course, in accordance with the Robertsonian System
of Teaching Modern Languages. By Louis ERNST. 16mo, pp. 264. New York: Roe Lockwood & Son, 1862.
In our last number, we gave our views at length of Prof. Ernst's “ Method,” in reviewing his Complete Spanish Course. As the volume now before us is on the same plan, we need only say that it is inferior in nothing to that which preceded it. Before examining these two books, it was but rarely, if ever, we had the good fortune to meet with a text book of a foreign language, or indeed any French, Italian, or Spanish book, bearing the imprint of the Messrs. Lockwood, which was not marred throughout with typographical errors. As an instance, we might mention their “expurgated edition" of Molière's works, which is a veritable curiosity in its way. Wishing to do justice to all, we are glad to note the improvement in the present case; for the benefit of education, we should be glad to learn that all the foreign books published by the same gentlemen had passed through the hands of the proof reader, whoever he may be, that had charge of Prof. Ernst's Spanish and French “Courses.” In the present, as well as in the former volume, the index forms a valuable feature. In